Last year The Creators Project highlighted what's possibly the most innovative twist on pumpkin carving since the art form (yes, art form) began: the LED Tetris Pumpkin that's actually playable.
We still think the Tetris Pumpkin deserves the Halloween Town equivalent of the MacArthur, and decided it was necessary to re-share this ingenious creation, as well as spotlight some other epic pumpkins that get our inner geeks chirping.
From the Surveillance Pumpkin to one that has an internal stock ticker, these are the most cutting edge (pun intended!) manipulations of the best Halloween mascot.
The LED Tetris Pumpkin
Our favorite from last year is back, courtesy of Haha Bird. Though simple in appearance, this one requires some technical skills, or else your pumpkin will look like this:
For this project you will need:
- A pumpkin (duh)
- LOL Shield (this is not a device that protects you from unwanted LOLs, but rather a screen of LEDs)
- A drill
We won't bore you with all the How-To's (those can be found here), but if you want to gamerize your stoop this week then this one is the most interactive pumpkin we can think of. Unlike a GameBoy, this handheld game has an obviously shorter lifespan.
Image via Willis Plummer
From the Drake 'o Lantern to Dwight Shrute, bring the paparazzi to your doorstep this Halloween thanks to Instructables' epic guide, which can be found here.
Follow the easy steps that allows Halloween fanatics to take any photograph and use it trace any pumpkin, such as this epic Dwight Shrute orange guy below (though we have to ask, should he have been carved on a giant beet, or at least a gourd?)
For this project you will need:
- Photoshop, Gimp or some other basic photo editing software
- A printer
- The ability to trace REALLY WELL
Choose a celebrity or photo you love (one more suggestion: a Walter White Pumpkin) and paste the file onto Photoshop.
Make multiple layers of this image on top of each other – ideally 4 or more – and then convert all to grayscale.
Take the bottom layer and mess with the layers with the Brightness Control option. Turn the controls to the max of +100, then play around until you get a solid outline. Keep enough black for foundation purposes. Do not have any island areas surrounded by white.
Repeat this for each layer, but make it less bright for each subsequent one. Increase the opacity for each later too. Eventually each layer will reinforce the bottom one so that you have a more-defined outline. This is essential for creating shadows.
Instructables includes information about how to clean up the structure and enhance details before you create a border and begin the tracing/carving process. Check out their site for the full explanation.
The Self-Carving Pumpkin
Items Needed For This Pumpkin:
- Smooth peanut butter
- The Animal Kingdom.
This pumpkin is less tech-inspired than you’d expect. If anything, it’s nature-inspired. Using an uncut pumpkin (no need to scoop out the guts!), drill holes into it n so that it looks like a rough outline of a face.
Then, using a knife or straw, put peanut butter into all the drilled holes. Make sure the peanut butter isn’t put in too deep or this won’t work.
Wipe the peanut butter off any spots you don’t want removed. Then place the pumpkin in a squirrel filled area (this may be harder in cities, though not impossible). Leave the pumpkin out over night, and surprise (!), the next morning squirrels and other critters will have done the carving for you. It's as if Snow White's team of animals have decorated for YOU!
This take on the pumpkin carve could yield the spookiest advertisement ever. The folk at QR Code Artist offer tips to print out a QR code and tack it onto a pumpkin. All scanners work on this one – though who knows what will appear once you scan a stranger's take on it.
The Stock Ticker Pumpkin
- Small pumpkin
- 5 x 7 scrolling LED panel
- Microcontroller and associated wires
Though not as subtle as the Tetris pumpkin, this device made by the crazy minds at Evil Mad Scientist allows finance types to check what’s up in the econ world while they bring their kiddos to get candy. This may be the most evil pumpkin of them all.
The Surveillance Pumpkin
Popular Mechanics offers us maybe something even creepier than the Stock Ticker Pumpkin: the Surveillance Pumpkin, aka the NSA Gourd (jokes).
The site offers two ways to make this suspicious device – one using a wireless Vue camera, and one using a generic wireless camera.
Both processes involve plopping a camera in a craftily carved pumpkin and then setting up a computer with a pass-worded protected Vue site. If you have hoodlum neighbors, this may be the way to finally figure out who’s been egging your house and trashing your other pumpkins on Mischief Night.
The Daft Punkin (no typo)unfortunatelydid not make it into our Daft Punk documentary series, but we know there will be many robot impersonators this Halloween. Get lucky with this design.
Worth adding is the work at the Great Jackolantern Blaze at Van Cortlandt Manor in New York, as shown above. Sure, the tech angle is minimal, but they carved over 5,000 pumpkins to make this event a true spectacle. The organizers probably have enough seeds to snack on to hold themselves until Halloween 2k14.
Wired also has a cool list of cyborg pumpkins that's worth checking out. Separate yourself from the Miley Cyrus and Adventure time getups this week, and take your pumpkins into the future. There are already Ghost Drones, but it's only a matter of time until we have Pumpkin Drones. Embrace your inner geek and have a happy Halloween!